London 2017: Documentary Overview

The 61st BFI London Film Festival

October 4-15

Among the more than 200 new feature offerings of the respected UK event are nearly 60 documentaries.

The festival offers audiences the chance to see many of the most acclaimed new films already on the circuit over the past several years, but also presents several world premieres, including, in the Documentary Competition, Lucy Cohen’s exploration of how a family copes with a suicide, KINGDOM OF US; under the Debate strand, Sinéad O’Shea’s look at a dissident Northern Ireland community, A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT; Steven Eastwood’s portrait of terminally ill residents of the Isle of Wight, ISLAND; and Michael Woodward’s chronicle of a unique climate change protest, THE CLIMB; under the Create strand, James Crump’s portrait of a legendary fashion illustrator, ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO (pictured); Sandrine Bonnaire’s profile of music icon Marianne Faithfull, FAITHFULL; and Paul Wright’s archival hybrid essay on the seasons, ARCADIA; and, in the Experimenta strand, Anne-Marie Copestake’s meditation on artist Margaret Benyon, A BLEMISHED CODE.

Other nonfiction presentations include Jean Libon and Yves Hinant’s San Sebastian-debuting SO HELP ME GOD (pictured), about a no-nonsense female Belgian judge, in the Dare section; and, in Experimenta, Filipa César’s SPELL REEL, on efforts to preserve Guinea-Bissau’s cinema heritage; Superflex’s hybrid THE MAERSK OPERA, on the controversial Copenhagen building project; and Chen Zhou’s hybrid LIFE IMITATION, an audacious exploration of queerness.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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